Billy Whizz to get the better of Big Jule in Winston 'Fanna' Griffiths ClassicSaturday, September 04, 2021
BY RUDDY ALLEN
Billy Whizz , the Jason DaCosta-conditioned, promising three-year-old galloper, after a narrow loss in the recent Jamaica Derby, is favoured to land the inaugural running of the $3.75-million Winston “Fanna” Griffiths, OD Classic feature event at Caymanas Park today.
Billy Whizz went down fighting to Calculus in the 12-furlong (2,400m) Jamaica Derby on August 7, losing out by a neck in the end. However, he was a length and a half in front of last year's two-year-old champion Further and Beyond, who finished in third place.
That effort is more than enough to outclass rivals here, especially with the two big guns — Calculus and Further and Beyond — missing from the line-up.
The native-bred three-year-old non-winners of a Grade One race is to honour Winston Griffiths, the man who has ridden the most winners overall (1,663) and the most Classic winners in Jamaica.
The event will be competed over the new distance of 9 ½ furlongs (1,900m) and is positioned as the ninth event on the 11-race programme, with a post time of 3:05 pm. First race is at 10:30 am.
Billy Whizz's preparations coming into this new race have been noticeable as the Von White-owned runner has cantered nine furlongs (1,800m), galloping the last seven furlongs (1,400m) in a smooth 1:29.2 minutes on August 28, suggesting that he is primed to put in another good shift.
However, he carries top weight of 57.0kgs and is allowing lumps of weight to his three-year-old colleagues. Panamanian Dick Cardenas will ride.
The horse that should provide most competition to Billy Whizz is the Ian Parsard-trained Big Jule, the least experienced in this line-up, with only four starts to his credit thus far.
The bay colt ran well to finish fourth by 10 ½ lengths in the Jamaica Derby over 12 furlongs. While Derby runner-up Billy Whizz is present here, Big Jule is still a strong contender to take home this trophy.
It is obvious that Big Jule has his issues that have limited his racing career, but without doubt, he is packed with talent and if he comes to the wicket fit and proper we might see the best of Big Jule here.
Coming into this race, Big Jule was very impressive at exercise on August 29. He worked along his more decorated stablemate Mahogany – both cantered nine furlongs and galloped the last seven furlongs, and in the finish Big Jule lost the gallop. Mahogany clocked 1:28.0 minutes for the distance, while Big Jule was timed at 1:28.1 minutes. Omar Walker remains in the saddle.
While it would be difficult for any one of the remaining seven runners in the race to get by these two horses, the likes of Ianzha Links, Regal and Royal, and Santorini could be promising to fill out the frame.
Ianzha Links followed up her third-placed finish in the 10-furlong (2,000m) Jamaica Oaks with a second-placed effort behind King's Magician going six furlongs (1,200m) seven days ago. Ianzha Links should enjoy this new distance and could put in another good effort without winning.
Regal and Royal was eighth in the Jamaica Derby but came back and finished second behind I Am Fred in a 7 ½ furlong (1,500m) event on August 21. Regal and Royal should go well over this journey and is expected to be in an earning position when this race is over.
Santorini did enough to catch the eye when finishing fifth in the Jamaica Derby (August 7) and fourth in the Jamaica St Leger (July 3). He is the recipient of a substantial pull in the weights and with his preparation earmarked for this feature contest, Santorini cannot be disregarded as he will certainly get the trip and will be at his best in the final two furlongs.
Ones to watch:
Race 1) Powerful Red/Twilight Storm/Jamaican Storm
Race 2) Silent Mission/Deezi/Mr Incredible
Race 3) Lightning McQueen/Armageddon/Lord Ashton
Race 4) It's All I/Black Royalty/Free Addi
Race 5) Highly Bless/Dee Danger/Saint Michael
Race 6) Tina's Account/Bridal Blush/Unwritten Law
Race 7) Zabratone/Sweet Renisha/Daytona Belle
Race 8) Three Times Lucky/It's A Boy/Iannai Links
Race 9) Billy Whizz/Big Jule/Regal and Royal
Race 10) Rocket Lily/Cruela/Curlin's Flight
Race 11) Money Monster/Beach Boy/Loose Ball